MVC integral part of outreach to vets

The Mobile Veteran’s Center (MCV) set up in Warren’s Midtown Parking Lot on Tuesday.

The MVC is run by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs in Erie as part of a VA outreach program for veterans. Tony Reitz, MCV operator, said, “We want to talk to as many combat veterans, to help them contact veteran’s centers for one-on-one to group counseling sessions.”

There are 20 MCVs nationally, with satellite uplink capability to allow counselors to communicate with the VA in a secure network. Reitz added

“The units can basically do anything that a brick and mortar office can do, and are American with Disabilities Act compliant for handicapped vets,” he said.

This vehicle’s area of operations is Erie, Warren, Venango, Mercer, and Crawford counties, as well as Ashtabula County in Ohio.

A combat theatre veteran’s group session is held at the Warren Visitors Center in Starbrick every third Friday from noon to 2 p.m. with counselor Dan Norton, but Reitz noted that sessions during non-traditional hours nights and weekends may be scheduled as required.

The four-wheel drive units are also equipped for Federal Emergency Management Agency operations, capable of responding to emergency situations, providing communications and medical transportation. Five MCV units were deployed to Boston after the bombings during the marathon.

The Warren visit was in conjunction with Hospice of Warren County’s Improving Care for Veterans Facing Illness and Death at Warren Public Library.